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Ljutnja kao doživljaj kulturnih značenja u suvremenoj religijskoj slici svijeta

Svetlana A. Bezklubaya ; Nacionalno istraživačko sveučilište, Institut za inženjerstvo, ekonomiju i humanističke znanosti Moskovskoga zrakoplovnoga instituta, Odsjek za filozofiju, Moskva, Rusija

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Porast agresije u svjetskoj zajednici aktualizira proučavanje fenomena ljutnje kao jednog od razloga destrukcije moderne kulture. Uzroci i oblici izražavanja ljutnje i njezina percepcija određeni su semantičkim kontekstom kulture i tradicionalno su zabilježeni u religijskoj slici svijeta. Stoga je predmet ovog istraživanja ljutnja kao doživljaj kulturnih značenja u suvremenoj religijskoj slici svijeta. Ljutnja se smatra pokazateljem, dominantnim emocionalnim imperativom, pojmom za doživljavanje kulturnih značenja, načinom izgradnje nove duhovnosti i suvremene religijske slike svijeta. Psihosocijalna navika ljutnje kao načina rješavanja svjetonazorskih problema postavlja vrijednosne karakteristike postojanja i vektore individualnosti. Bit gnjeva otkriva se kroz patrističku askezu, emocionalni doživljaj kolektivnih obreda, individualizam i spiritualizam, kroz humanističku usmjerenost ljudskog života i društva, kroz funkcije gnjeva u postnormalnim vremenima. Kao grešna strast i duhovna bolest, ljutnja se iskorjenjuje cjelovitom promjenom osobnosti. Metodološke osnove istraživanja bile su: antropološki pristup, psihološki i lingvistički diskursi, kulturološka i filozofska refleksija. Zaključci u ovom radu pružaju priliku za bolje snalaženje u emocionalnom životu ljudi različitih kultura onima koji obavljaju profesionalne aktivnosti – kao psiholozi, psihoterapeuti, učitelji, volonteri i rehabilitacijski terapeuti – koji prate roditelje i djecu u udomiteljskim obiteljima, rade s djecom bez roditelja, osobama s invaliditetom i vjernicima.

Ključne riječi

funkcije ljutnje; ljutnja; ljutnja kao doživljaj kulturnih značenja; ljutnja u patrističkoj tradiciji; postnormalno vrijeme; suvremena religijska slika svijeta

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Modern man, corrupted by hedonism and losing spiritual guidelines in everyday life, attaches increasing importance to the re-living of the emotional conceptual sphere in general and especially to anger. People do not condemn the angry state, but on the contrary, widely demonstrate it as a habitual way of social interaction when changing pictures of the world. How the worldview integrity of society changes because of its total irascibility is clearly demonstrated by the modern religious picture of the world. Therefore, it is relevant to consider the problem of anger as a reflection of cultural meanings in the modern religious picture of the world. This study solves the problems of:

  1. considering anger not only as an emotional-conceptual concept but also as a concept of experiencing cultural meanings, and their objectification into various pictures of the world;

  2. concretizing the process of forming anger as a way of acquiring relevant cultural meanings, which is emotionally experienced by people at the level of collective ritualization;

  3. studying the forms, types, and methods of manifestation of anger (righteous and unrighteous) in the traditional religious picture of the world using the example of the teachings of the Holy Fathers in Christianity;

  4. studying anger as a specific way of building a new (individualized) spirituality and a new (spiritualistic) religious picture of the world in the conditions of modernity or postnormal times, characterized by semantic uncertainty.

The methodological foundations of the study were an anthropological approach, psychological and linguistic discourses, and cultural and philosophical reflection.

The conclusions contained in the work provide an opportunity to better navigate the emotional lives of people of different cultures for those who carry out professional activities like psychologists, psychotherapists, lecturers, volunteers, and rehabilitation specialists; who accompany parents and children in foster families; who work with orphans, disabled people, and believers.

1. Anger as an experience of cultural meanings

Anger is considered by science as a component of the conceptual category of emotions of a self-centered orientation, that is, mental processes that reflect a person’s subjective evaluative attitude towards various situations and objects2. Emotional concepts are abstract but based on very real bodily experiences.

The classic definition of experience as a re-live belongs to Lev Vygotsky: »Re-live is a general name for direct mental experience; from the subjective side, every mental process is a re-live. In any experience, a distinction is made between the act and the content of the re-live; the first is the activity associated with the occurrence of a given re-live; the second is the content, the composition of what is experienced3«. Nikolai Veresov, analyzing the works of Vygotsky, initiated a methodological discussion of the issue of the theoretical content of the concept of »re-live« and considered it a »prism« through which »a complex mental phenomenon <...> refracts the components of the social environment in the individual consciousness« and »a theoretical tool <...> in analysis of the process of sociocultural genesis of human consciousness as the formation of the individual allows us to reveal the dialectical unity of the social and the individual, the social in the individual and the individual in the social4«.

The difference »between emotion and re-live is that emotion reflects one or another human need, and re-live reflects the meaning of phenomena and situations, emotion is a re-live, and re-live is a state5«.

A concept as a mental formation in the mind of an individual is an outlet to the conceptual sphere of society, i.e., ultimately, to culture, and a concept as a unit of culture is a fixation of collective experience, which becomes the property of the individual.

The meanings that determine human sociocultural behavior must be emotionally experienced by people at the level of collective ritualization (in the fields of myth, religion, politics, economics, upbringing, and education). Christoph Wulf noted that with the help of rituals,

»the world and human relationships receive their order and interpretation... Ritual actions establish a connection between history, present, and future; they contain the possibility of continuity and changes, structure and community, as well as the experience of transition and transcendence6«.

»A striking example of the communicative power of ritual is the death and burial of Pope John Paul II. In a short period, many rituals were staged and performed, for which millions of people came to Rome to personally be physically present and take an active part in the ritual events. For many people, this created strong emotions and a sense of close connectedness. The media staging and presentation of this ritual created a media reality that was simultaneously perceived and experienced by hundreds of millions of people around the world. This form of participation caused many people to have strong feelings and gave them a reason to exchange opinions with their loved ones, friends, and acquaintances about how to understand these ritual events. Thus, millions of people started talking to each other about religion and death, about the meaning of life, about the spiritual and political power of the church, etc. Even if these people did not take part in the ritual directly, they were still involved in the interpretation and classification of the presented images of the ritual event through the perception and assimilation of media reality. Thus arose a time-limited community of diverse people from heterogeneous cultures7«.

It is obvious that the processes of accentuated emotional perception turn out to be extremely important for the cultural programming of a community in different spheres of life: in the expression of sexual identity and relations between the sexes; in establishing methods of social communication in the family, in the children-youth environment, with the media, etc. As a result, cultural meanings are formed as informational constants, due to which they become the foundations of specific acts of worldview, including in specialized forms of cultural activity such as art, religion, philosophy, and science8.

Meaning explains, interprets, justifies, or condemns emotions. The cultural meanings of the world community today are extremely contradictory and angrily expressive. The main reason for this is that the downside of the openness and diversity of the modern state of society is the absence of any solid basis for a person’s worldview. Recognition of reality and man as multidimensional constructs cannot but instill anxiety in the face of endless relativism and existential finitude. The social idea of instability, relativity, and variability of being, existing at different levels of social life, is also fixed in the consciousness of the individual, being realized and confirmed in various phenomena of the surrounding reality.

In modern culture the semantic and value characteristics of being and vectors of individuality become: nihilism, creativity without creation, absolute freedom, hedonism, apathy and fatigue from life, depression, conformism, procrastination, painful addictions, loss of inner self, and renunciation of identities.

The high speed of information flows, commercialization and rationalization of almost all aspects of life, globalization, neoliberal bureaucratic management principles, deep individualization and the cult of the individual self, sharp breaks in sociocultural traditions, total technologization, digital inequality, and low-quality mass culture destructure the integrity of the individual’s worldview. Man-made disasters, natural disasters, cases of moral, physical, and sexual violence; a growing terrorist threat; military, ethnic, and religious conflicts; and the lies and unprofessionalism of politicians completely fragment the picture of the world of the common man in the street. Crises of sociocultural content are superimposed on existential, age-related, and interpersonal crises.

Excessive pressure on an individual from various kinds of circumstances forces him to turn in search of psychological and mental comfort to increasingly pathological forms of escape from reality: non-stop and uncontrolled material consumption; unconditional acceptance of social manipulations and abstract signs of the common good; mindless absorption of cinema and television products; from harmless ways of self-soothing (entertainment, hobbies, meditation, sports) to methods with far-reaching negative consequences (disappearance, isolation from society, alcohol and drug abuse, suicide; downshifting - giving up a career and breaking with the urban lifestyle; geographical or tourist escapism, that is, permanent travel or relocation to exotic countries). One of the most popular forms of escapism today is an escape into cyberspace, the Internet, and gaming addiction.

Modern meanings of being are increasingly distancing themselves from the essence of man — from his spirituality and the spirit of goodness as a measure of morality, responsibility, and duty. Our contemporary, as a rule, is indifferent to the spiritual meaning of his life, which has always actually organized a person’s entire life. St. Augustine expressed his understanding of this knowledge as follows: »You [God] were within me, but I was outside myself9«. Today, »immorality is aggressive« and »lack of spirituality is deliberately demonstrative10«. In such conditions, a person strives to regain a simple and clear picture of the world as the focus of his own spiritual life in order to find inner peace and confidence in it. He can no longer seek salvation in progress, economics, or politics. To live, a person needs faith, comprehensive, total faith, and spirituality.

A person’s desire for spirituality as a subjective experience (conscience, loneliness, duty, imperfection) and internal experiences (moral, aesthetic, cognitive, philosophical) can lead him from the empirical to the transcendental world, and he can accept spirituality as a sense of belonging and integrity as the potentia of religiosity—searching sacred for the purpose of serving it. A »spiritual revolution« is underway, during which traditional knowledge of the sacred is manipulatively distorted and then the sacred is sought not in divine reality but in the depths of one’s consciousness, re-living, feeling, and intuition11. Even in this case, structural certainty and traditionalism of thinking can be preserved through the individual’s turn to spirituality, and from it to the reflectivity of religious pictures of the world, traditional or modernized.

The religious picture of the world comes from the distinction between being in itself and existence, i.e., a world that has being due to its creation. The religious concept of being is dualistic because it contrasts an absolute, supernatural being, identical with God, with the whole variety of natural things endowed with being. Hence, the semantic content of the world follows. It acquires meaning not because of how a person relates to it but because of how the will of God is realized in it. This predetermines the strategy of human behavior.

However, a fundamental change in the meanings of modern culture forces a person to increasingly be involved in an extreme or crisis situation of frustration with his own vital needs and blocking of spiritual ones, and as its initiator, victim, or witness, almost constantly experience anger in the entire spectrum of his emotional states, from irritation to rage.

Nowadays, anger is becoming the dominant emotional imperative of culture. »Emotional imperatives include special norms, requirements, and unconditional instructions about what and how to feel in a certain socio-cultural context (or situation). They can also act as emotional ideals. Emotional imperatives reflect the desired, culturally dominant, and most demonstrated emotions, as well as rules for what to do with unwanted emotions12«. In the everyday experience of our contemporaries, anger becomes an indicator of the individual and society’s experience of changing cultural meanings, a way of building a new picture of the world.

As a rule, the picture of the world exists in the mind in an unformed and reflected form. Many implicit features of the picture of the world are revealed in extreme states, in situations of existential choice. So, observing the transformation of normative ideas of emotional experiences of different layers of the world community caused by the Covid-19 pandemic (panic, fear, anxiety, apprehension, fatalism) into protest anger (about the loss of control over life situations, economic uncertainty, some misinformation about the best methods prevention and treatment, forced vaccination, the idea of introducing »Covid passports«, various restrictions and punishments for unvaccinated citizens, strict quarantine measures, mask regime etc.) one can draw conclusions about a new, higher universal value reading, the experience of known cultural meanings (freedom, civil initiative and unity, social connections, forms of solidarity, responsibility, choice, goal setting, value of life)13.

Thus, the ontological foundations of anger are the completion of constructing a holistic picture of the world. An angry individual or angry social strata models the world, including the other world, not randomly but as a reflection of cultural meanings in certain variations. The practical result of this type of activity is the regulation (in some cases, self-regulation) of a person’s moral standards, his ability for collective life, and his internal understanding of the surrounding reality. Since a person is within the strictly established boundaries of earthly existence, a worldview is possible on a segment of two diametrical poles: the rational and irrational poles, the profane and the sacred. From these positions, the most indicative phenomenon is anger as an experience of modern cultural meanings in the religious picture of the world.

2. Anger in the modern religious picture of the world.

The religious picture of the world today, while recording the variability of modern cultural meanings, is itself actively being transformed. The transformation of the modern religious picture of the world is expressed in the syncretism of various faiths, the loss of church authorities, the opposition of spirituality and religiosity, faith and unbelief, in the promotion of the idea of deconstructing religion as a spiritual-social subsystem of society, in the reduction of religious participation and the role of religious authority in the public sphere, and, ultimately, in searching for a new synthesis of religions as the basis of humane religiosity.

Against such a semantic sociocultural background, the idea of anger as a way of reaction, an emotional concept, and the experience of problems of reality is formed and takes root in the modern religious picture of the world as deeply contradictory. Let us look at these two positions.

On the one hand, the idea of anger does not fall out of the traditional religious picture of the world, which still provides for two ontologies that are fundamentally different from one another: the ontology of the uncreated being and the ontology of the created being. This implies the semantic content of the world. It acquires meaning not because of how a person relates to it but because of how the will of God is realized in it. This predetermines the strategy of human behavior in general and regarding the possibility and ways of expressing anger in particular.

So, in traditional Christianity, the phenomenon of righteous or natural anger is not prohibited and retains its sacred meaning: over blaspheming (profanity expressed by impudent words or actions), blasphemy (sarcastic ridicule not of the faith itself but of the rules and rituals of the church), and desecration (desecration of shrines and saints, violation of religious or moral purity, belittling one’s own dignity by violating the Commandments of God). There was a time when the supernatural was considered an undeniable reality and existed, according to Robert Marett, both in a positive form (supernatural power or » manna « ) and in a negative form (supernatural prohibition or » taboo « ). Together, they formed the basis of every religion—its » theoplasm « , its » divine matter14 «. The supernatural in those days was itself a threat and, for this reason, did not need protection; the supernatural aroused in man a desire to appease higher powers, but not anger. The concept of » righteous anger « or » natural anger « , where the hierarchy of relationships is indicated by conformity with generally accepted moral standards, has taken root in the formation of majority religions. » Laws punishing blasphemy protected the religion of the majority. The religious views of minorities were not subject to protection. The deepening secularization of Western societies led to the gradual replacement of state protection of religion, its beliefs, and practices with the protection of the rights of an individual or group to profess any religion or not to profess any15 «. God cannot be scolded, but attempts to offend the feelings of believers violate their right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, incite interreligious hostility, and contribute to the manifestation of righteous anger by believers in various forms, sometimes even destroying the traditional religious understanding of it. Let us turn to the spiritual experience of the Holy Fathers for help in understanding the nature of anger.

Righteous or natural anger was defined by the Holy Fathers as: prudent16 ; fair17 ; chaste courage18 ; » not from an agitated spirit19 « ; a power given to man by God, like other movements of the soul, » for the Creator would be guilty of evil20 « ; leniency towards human nature21 ; imperturbable will22 .

The anger of pious people is extreme disgust and indignation against: all sin23 ; » themselves for past sins24 « ; bodily delectations25 ; everything that defiles the soul and body of man26 ; demons ( » anger by nature is intended to fight demons and fight against all sinful pleasures « )27 ; the spirit of smoldering and death, which causes despondency28 ; Righteous anger is aroused by a sense of justice and does not relate to self-defense but to the defense of other people and principles. Such anger is sinless and not alien to God. In Holy Scripture, God is represented as being angry29 . Examples of biblical wrath include the wrath of believers (Ephesians 4:26); Paul's confrontation with Peter over his wrong example in Galatians 2:11–14; David's chagrin when he heard from the prophet Nathan about injustice (2 Samuel 12); and Jesus' anger regarding some Jews desecrating God's temple in Jerusalem (John 2:13–18). Some believers find justification in these examples for their own anger.

However, one cannot understand in a crude sensory sense that God sleeps, awakens, approaches, and moves away. St. Cassian is convinced that to Him, who is invisible, indescribable, omnipresent, and infinite, it is impious, blasphemous, and humanlike to attribute carnal passion—anger and rage30 . God is the righteous judge of everything we sinfully do. As St. Gregory the Theologian notes, God is unchangeable by nature; therefore, He is impassive and is depicted in anger allegorically31 . God is immutable and just, but man is passionate by nature; therefore, he is often changeable, unjust, and falls into anger, which, according to St. Ambrose, confuses his soul and finally deprives his image received from God of immutability32 . The anger of man, as St. Gregory the Theologian remarks, has no measure and, therefore, differs from the wrath of God33 . According to the Holy Fathers, the power of anger was given to people by God as a force of tension—a constructive feeling that contributes to the achievement of a goal. But as a result of the fall, due to infection with passions, a person uses this power not for good but against his neighbors, being angry with them or with circumstances.

Therefore, Bishop Varnava (Belyaev) writes,

» Anger at its core is a legitimate and necessary ability for man of the 'irritable' part of the soul, which he, like all others, perverted after his fall and made, instead of a virtue, a passion. Anger, according to the original plan of the Creator, was supposed to be energy, jealousy, and zeal, which would 'irritate', that is, bring into tension the 'desirable' power of the soul (desire, lust, which has now turned 'after the Fall', like anger, into passion, precisely into lust) and force the latter to intensely strive for above, towards God34 « .

Anger turns into sin when it: - pursues selfish motives (James 1:20); distorts divine purposes (1 Corinthians 10:31); is delayed (Ephesians 4:26–27); boils without resistance and multiplies damages (Proverbs 29:11); accumulates as resentment and is kept secretly, without release inside a person (Ephesians 4:26–27); manifests itself as hatred, expressed in expletives addressed to another person, i.e., the desire to humiliate him (Matthew 5:21–22). In these cases, anger is a sinful passion and leaves only devastation in its wake, often with irreparable consequences. In anger, a person may not hear the voice of God and may not notice how the light of faith fades in him. By being angry with one's neighbor, a person violates the law of love and mercy given to him by God. According to Sergei Zarin, it is in anger that sensual bodily egoism reaches its peak of a passionate state35 . The Apostles warned newly converted Christians about the danger of anger. » Let every man be quick to hear and slow to speak, slow to become angry, for the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God. « (James 1:19-20) » Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and crying, and slander, along with all malice, be put away from you « (Ephesians 4:31). » God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him « (1 Thessalonians 5:9–10). It is no coincidence that in the diagram of the eight main sinful passions of the patristic tradition compiled by St. Ignatius Brianchaninov, the concept of » anger « was included along with others: » gluttony « , » fornication « , » love of money « , » sadness « , » dejection « , » vanity « and » pride «36 . Anger, like all passions, is rooted in the human heart, which means they depend on each other, and each of the passions can be the cause of anger, and he can be the cause of it. Patristic asceticism formed not only a unique vision of anger as a spiritual illness but also a methodology for its treatment: to turn anger with the help of love only into salvation; to direct anger, first of all, at one’s own vices; to reject thoughts and impulses to surrender to sinful states, experiences, and needs; to succeed in spiritual achievements through humility, generosity, patience, and deepening repentance; to overcome anger not only by realizing your sins and changing your behavior, but by transforming your entire personality37 .

Thus, using the example of the patristic Christian tradition of the idea of anger, which is preserved in our time, we can conclude that in the modern religious picture of the world, anger, despite its righteous form, continues to be one of the most especially condemned vices since it has an extremely disastrous effect on the spiritual life of a person. Anger is caused by various external (sociocultural and interpersonal) obstacles that a person encounters on the way to achieving his personal goals when his will collides with someone else’s. Outwardly, anger is revealed in words, actions, and deeds driven by pride, vengeance, and hatred, and in its consequences, as a rule (even if the goals are righteous), it turns out to be a destructive phenomenon. In the traditional religious and moral picture of the world, the dominance of anger in a person indicates a lack of love for God and neighbor, both in himself and in his environment. A person’s anger excludes will, patience, meekness, humility, wisdom, and mercy and therefore does not allow him to perform the feat of prayer or experience zeal for good and hatred for evil. Today, the power of the heartfelt excitement of an angry person finally loses its humanistic orientation, which leads to a daring revaluation of universal human values, a manipulative substitution of good for evil, and, ultimately, to the dominance of the other (non-traditional) side of the religious picture of the world. What role does anger play in its existence and strengthening? This is the second side of this study.

3. Anger's role in the existence of the religious picture of the world

On the other hand, the modern religious picture of the world is largely created by a reality that researchers define as a » postnormal time « or » an intermediate period when old orthodoxies die out, new ones have not yet been born, and it seems that very little makes sense38 «.

The ontological and emotional uncertainty of postnormality gives rise to the permissiveness of sinful passions, since everything traditionally recorded and previously disseminated by religion as shameful and forbidden is actively archived, and new moral-spiritual truths, pillars, and supports have not yet been finally formed in culture. Many large-scale, cruel, and sad events in the history of mankind today are openly committed by people under the influence of unbridled anger, driven by the irresistible force of emotions. Among the widespread passions today, anger occupies a leading position in its destructive power, both personally for the individual and for the entire world community.

Widespread demonstration of people's passionate angry state (in TV shows and movies; on»Two Minutes Hate«39,»walls of anger«and in the»music of anger«of social networks; in the absence of upbringing; in the manifestation of ignorance, arrogance, inflated self-esteem; in violating boundaries, in imposing opinions, stupidity, hypocrisy, lies, rudeness; aggression at home, at work, and on the street) and the lack of condemnation in the media, television, and the Internet forms a person’s addiction to anger. As a passion that destroys the spirituality of a person and society, anger is not given much importance, and anger is considered an acceptable manifestation of an individual’s character trait.

In a secular world where the connection between social order and religion is destroyed, anger ceases to be a crime that undermines the foundations of sociality; it deliberately destroys all moral barriers, elevates immorality to a principle, and strength and ruthlessness to a cult. In this state of devastation, when a person is faced with non-standard postnormal situations, he does not see alternative options but only the passionate option developed by him and his community, into which he enters and meets the usual, socially approved, but burning anger. In a critical situation, it is impossible for the individual and society to change anger into a different vector of movement due to habit, and they use anger as a constructive measure. The growth of angry individualism becomes an effective resource, a way of filling the individual’s own being as well as the entire system of sociocultural reality and the religious picture of the world, with new meanings and values and, ultimately, with new spirituality.

The features of the new spirituality are especially clearly manifested in modern spiritualism, which denotes a wide range of phenomena (even wider than, for example, the New Age, a spiritual movement that synthesized occultism, theosophy, pantheism, Eastern philosophy, mysticism, parapsychology, and traditional medicine), which focus on the instrumental-practical side of spiritual-mental change in personality. Modern spiritualism destroys the hierarchy of knowledge and concentrates on the cult of the mass self (self); creates his own » spiritual world « solely according to his own taste, and any elements of traditional culture are used in it randomly and voluntarily; is completely focused on the future; focuses on constant search and self-change: on flow (vortex), on the metaphor of the search for power ( » energy flows « ), as well as on the present moment (living » here and now « )40 .

It is in spiritualism that anger, as a personal and social semantic concept, captures the re-living of multiple cultural manifestations, their eclectic ideological basis, their inextricable connection with subjective experience, and a holistic worldview. Anger acts as a way for a person to construct a unique image of himself, which, even in anger, preserves individuality and is different from others.

Therefore, anger acts as a concept for experiencing a mix of increasingly emerging alternatives to traditional cultural meanings, which themselves are multiplying globally and problematically, thereby only multiplying the power of anger. Anger, as a single interest that has grown excessively to the detriment of others, subordinates the will of a person to its dominance. His other powers and abilities also receive the wrong direction due to the stressful influence of anger as a passion on the entire psychophysical and psychosocial life of the individual. An important, and sometimes the only adaptive, resource in a given situation for a person remains religiosity and its objective side—the religious picture of the world. However, a person’s reflection on the religious picture of the world, aimed at clarifying and ordering very different contemporary sacred ideas, cannot sharply reduce the intensity of anger; level it as a way of building ideological constructs. Old taboos about anger work weakly, and new ones are absent. Yet, anger in the modern religious picture of the world performs certain functions: warning a person about the violation of the natural order of things, according to which he thinks everything should go; adaptation and protection; - heuristic: searching and discovering a state of maximum certainty and consistency; affirmation of a just world; control: encouraging oneself and others to take responsibility; fairness of the new world of values; beliefs in the correctness of the modern world and in the correctness of one’s own ideas; restoring the balance of right and wrong; reflection and enhancement of the brightness and completeness of perceptions, which affect the speed and strength of memorization of what seems or actually is true; increasing a person’s energy in solving pressing problems, changing what does not suit him; motivation for seeking justice; warnings about an unworthy act; incentive for self-improvement.

In the religious picture of postnormality, anger from a state of virtue, that is, a form of divine zeal aimed at vices, increasingly turns into a form of passion. And in this case, anger as a passion indicates a one-sided, inharmonious, and unfree state of a person’s powers, from which both his objective dignity and subjective well-being suffer.

It is no coincidence that Scott Jordan noted:

» Postnormal time creates a feeling of helplessness in people with religious and spiritual inclinations. In a world where there is very little meaning, meanings disappear. But our desire for meaning increases, and we often find it wherever we look. And beliefs often convey both identity and meaning. This frantic pursuit of self-identity not only fails to provide a true sense of belonging and meaning but actually reinforces alienation. However, never before has there been such a greater need for people and communities with genuine religious and spiritual values. Overcoming many of the contradictions of postnormal times requires old-fashioned religious virtues such as humility, patience, love, compassion, and a willingness to compromise. I would suggest that the purpose of religion should be less to perpetuate the belief in a superman and more to show love, compassion, and service to others. We can cope with the diversity and multiplicity of postnormal time only by recognizing that the faith of others is as important to them as our faith is to us. Above all, religion must confront ignorance of all types and view uncertainty not as a threat but as an opportunity to shape more attractive futures41 « .

Thus, anger in the religious picture of the modern world plays a decisive role in the acceptance or rejection of ideological and mental (as a way of life) attitudes. The abundance of various syncretic religious teachings and practices, with their own interpretations of passions, ideas about the sinfulness or non-sinfulness of anger, and possible ways of using and overcoming it, destructures the life of a modern person, emotionally rocking it. As a result of the enslavement of the will by anger as a passion, there is an unproductive waste of a person’s mental strength, which inevitably leads to pathological states of sadness, despondency, and depression. A person’s angry reorientation from social values to personal ones indicates bodily selfishness, weakness, and damage to the spirit. Man's deep dissatisfaction with the modern world, with its cult of perfection, speed, mundaneness, and lack of spirituality, will change the return to age-old religious traditions.


Today, in the so-called postnormal time, anger is an indicator, a concept for experiencing changing cultural meanings, a way of building a new spirituality, and a new religious picture of the world. The psychosocial habit of anger as a way of solving ideological problems and acquiring current cultural meanings today sets the value characteristics of being and vectors of individuality: nihilism, strict control over the search and upholding of truth, and justice. The ontological foundations of anger determine the integrity of the religious picture of the world. An angry individual and angry social strata model the modern religious picture of the world as a reflection of rapidly changing cultural meanings. Nowadays, anger is becoming the dominant emotional imperative of culture, the most relevant and habitual effective way of experiencing, expressing, and formalizing (accepting or not accepting) values, ideals, and meanings. The syncretism of the modern religious picture of the world destroys the traditional human understanding of anger as passion, bodily egoism, weakness of will, and spirit. Restoring the connection between the secular world and traditional religious teachings, for example, the Holy Fathers, will make it possible to understand the essence of anger as the most condemned vice, which has an extremely destructive (sometimes even if the goals are righteous) impact on a person’s spiritual life. In the traditional religious and moral picture of the world, the dominance of anger in a person indicates a lack both in himself and in his environment of love for God and neighbor, will, patience, meekness, humility, wisdom, and mercy, and therefore does not allow him to distinguish between good and evil. Today, an angry person completely loses the humanistic orientation of his own life and activity, which leads to a daring revaluation of universal human values. Anger, as a natural human ability to react in certain cases, develops over the course of life and can be directed in different ways — turned into evil or salvation, depending on whether the angry person is driven by enmity towards his neighbor or love. In accordance with the teachings of the Holy Fathers, anger can and should be overcome not by realizing one’s sins, not by changing one’s behavior, but by transforming one’s entire personality. A person’s vision of anger as a sinful passion is revealed gradually as he succeeds in spiritual achievements and deepens repentance. This is a complex spiritual and moral process in which a person’s will to correct and purify the soul is combined with God’s grace, leading to a person recognizing evil in his soul, denying evil, and opening his heart to love and mercy.

Svetlana A. Bezklubaya42

Ljutnja kao doživljaj kulturnih značenja u suvremenoj religijskoj slici svijeta


[1] Svetlana A. Bezklubaya, PhD, Assoc. Prof., Institute of General Engineering Training at Moscow Aviation Institute (National Research University), A-80, ГСП-3, 4 Volokolamskoe shosse, 125993 Moscow, Russia.

[2] Lyudmila CHERNYSHOVA, Yazykovaya reprezentaciya bazovoj emocii gnev v russkom i belorusskom yazykah [Language representation of the basic emotion anger in Russian and Belarusian], Studia Wschodniosłowiańskie, 20 (2020) 189-198,

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[5] Tatyana GAVRILOVA, Experience of anger in psychological and works of Father of the Church, Konsul'tativnaya psihologiya i psihoterapiya [Counseling psychology and psychotherapy], 19 (2011) 3, 24-45.

[6] Christof WULF, Lekciya 1, Proizvodstvo social'nogo v rituale i s pomoshch'yu rituala [Lecture 1. Production of the social in ritual and with the help of ritual], Zhurnal sociologii i social'noj antropologii [Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology], 13 (2010) 3, 23-50, 25.

[7] Ibid, 24.

[8] Arkadiy SHEYKIN, Kul'turologiya. XX vek: enciklopediya [Culturology. 20th century: encyclopedia], (1996) (22.10.2023),

[9] AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO, Ispoved' [Confession], Transl. Maria SERGEENKO, Sankt-Peterburg, Nauka, 2013, 28.

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[14] Robert MARETT, The thresholds of religion, London, Methuen, 1909, 66.

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[16] BASIL (KRIVOSHEIN), Problema poznavaemosti Boga [The Problem of God's Knowability], Moscow, Sibirskaya Blagozvonnitca, 2008, 658.

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[18] Basil (Krivoshein), Problema…, 658.

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[28] Diadochos of Photici, Podvizhnicheskoe slovo…, 40.

[29] GREGORY THE THEOLOGIAN, Tvoreniya [Creations], vol. 1, Moscow, Sibirskaya Blagozvonnitca, 2007, 138.

[30] Gavrilova, Experience of anger…, 24-45.

[31] Gregory the Theologian, Tvoreniya…, 15.

[32] Ambrose of Milan, Sobranie tvorenij…, 453.

[33] Gregory the Theologian, Tvoreniya…, 141.

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[35] Sergey ZARIN, Asketizm po pravoslavno-hristianskomu ucheniyu. Etiko-bogoslovskoe issledovanie [Asceticism according to Orthodox Christian teaching. Ethical-theological study], Sankt-Petersburg, Tip. V. F. Kirschbauma, 1907, 309-330.

[36] IGNATIUS BRIANCHANINOV, Tvoreniya [Creations], vol. 1, Мoscow, Palomnik, 2000, 155-158.

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[38] Ziauddin SARDAR, Dobro pozhalovat' v postprivychnoe vremya [Welcome to Postnormal Time], in: Ziauddin SARDAR et al. (ed.), Kniga dlya chteniya v postprivychnoe vremya [The Postnormal Times Reader], Sankt-Petersburg, Peterburgskoe Vostokovedenie, 2021, 10-13.

[39] George ORWELL, Nineteen Eighty-Four, London, Secker & Warburg, 1949.

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[41] Jordan SCOTT, Igra religioznyh prestopov [Game of Religious Thrones], in: Ziauddin SARDAR et al. (ed.), Kniga dlya chteniya v postprivychnoe vremya [The Postnormal Times Reader], Sankt-Petersburg, Peterburgskoe Vostokovedenie, 2021, 55-58.

[42] Izv. prof. dr. sc. Svetlana A. Bezklubaya, Nacionalno istraživačko sveučilište, Institut za inženjerstvo, ekonomiju i humanističke znanosti Moskovskoga zrakoplovnoga instituta, Odsjek za filozofiju, A-80, ГСП-3, 4 Volokolamskoe shosse, 125993 Moskva, Rusija; e-mail:



GREGORY THE THEOLOGIAN, Tvoreniya [Creations], 1:Moscow,: Sibirskaya Blagozvonnitca,; 2007 p. 138[30] Gavrilova, Experience of anger…, 24-45.

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